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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Robots Can Help Us Save the World. If We Let Them.

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While there are real fears that robots are taking away our jobs, some research suggests the opposite. Sure, 38% of companies believe AI and robotics will be “fully implemented” in their company within five years, according to Deloitte’s recent Human Capital Trends report. But the same research showed that 77% of respondents believe automation results in “better jobs,” and only 20% see job reductions. Fifty percent are investing in retraining workers to work side-by-side with machines, and 33% expect people to do “more human tasks” augmented by robotics and AI.

What sort of efficiencies can managers expect from data analytics and other new technologies? Take the recruiting process alone. As Noel Webb wrote recently for HR.com, AI can dramatically reduce the time needed to sort through the 250 resumes a month that a recruiter receives on average for each job search. Only 4-6 of these applicants receive an interview, and only one lands the job.

Hear that giant sucking sound? It’s your time.

But AI technology can weed through the piles, assessing keywords and concepts so that you spend more time on qualified candidates, less time on the “no” pile.

AI can also improve the candidate experience with chatbots that answer questions along the way and provide follow up about where prospects are in the process. This is of long-term importance when you consider that 58% of candidates who don’t hear back from an employer are less likely to buy products from that company and 34% of candidates who had a negative experience will spread the bad word on social media.

Also: diversity. AI reduces bias in the hiring process, which is a bottom-line plus when research shows that diversity in companies can lead to higher revenue. (Aside from being an important priority in general.)

For those of us leery about this brave new world, it’s not as if AI is necessarily Orwellian. If you’ve used Google search or Apple’s latest iPhone, you know that AI has been defining the future for some time now.

But certainly it’s true that the potential uses of AI can mushroom from benign to nefarious. Jim Pierobon summed up the overriding concern in his review of Connect: How Companies Succeed by Radically Engaging with Society, a recent book on this topic by former BP Chairman Lord John Browne, technology entrepreneur Tommy Stadlen, and McKinsey & Co. partner Robin Nuttall.  

Pierobon notes that a new nonprofit formed in partnership with leading technology companies has been formed to allay the “echo chamber of anxiety” that proliferates around the future of AI. As of September 28th, executives at Microsoft and the DeepMind unit at Google, along with founding support from Amazon, Facebook and IBM, launched the Partnership on AI. The goal is to “study and formulate best practices on A.I. technologies, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society.”

If leaders of technology companies developing AI want to build up the confidence and trust of consumers, and if CEOs of companies using AI want to prove that they’re engaging with civil society rather than manipulating it, they should be looking to AI as a tool for social impact. AI can massively accelerate the efficiencies of capitalism, and it can do the same for social enterprises.

The ability of robots to help us address the challenges facing us as a planet and people is undeniable. And it starts by helping company leaders direct the power of data analytics towards giving back.

We at Causecast have long recognized the responsibility and opportunity inherent in AI, and the difficulties that social responsibility managers face in trying to improve their programs year after year. From that pursuit we developed Causecast IMPACT AI, the industry's first real-time artificial intelligence and predictive analytics solution for CSR professionals.

At the core of our groundbreaking new tool is a benchmarking and predictive analytics component that empowers managers to make better decisions and react more quickly to employees in shaping corporate volunteer programs. Causecast IMPACT AI effectively adds another member to corporate teams, one that serves as a coach, communications champion and confidante, all rolled into one.

Causecast IMPACT AI aligns with our continued commitment to helping organizations dramatically uplevel the social good they’re able to do in the communities they serve. If you want to learn more about how AI and other new technologies can supercharge your company’s potential to make a positive impact in your community and in the engagement of your employees, start by signing up for our upcoming webinar:

How Can Predictive Analytics Transform Your Social Impact?

Tuesday, March 28 at 10:30 am PT/1:30 pm ET


Register Now

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